The opening three months of the year saw ratings rise at all three broadcast morning news programs, including ABC’s “Good Morning America,” which drew its largest audience for any quarter in 22 years.
Delivering double-digit year-over-year gains in both total viewers and adults 25-54. the Alphabet program maintained its leadership position in the first quarter even though NBC’s “Today” benefited from airing the Winter Olympics for a 17-day stretch in February. “Today,” though, was able to show nice gains of its own and more than doubled the demo delivery of third-place “CBS This Morning.”
Looking at the numbers for Dec. 30, 2013 through March 30, 2014, “Good Morning America” averaged 5.908 million viewers, a 10% increase vs. the first quarter of 2013 and the biggest tune-in during any quarter since at least 1991, the start of the Nielsen database.
It was followed by “Today” (5.369 million), whose 15% improvement was the largest for any program, and “CBS This Morning” (3.148 million, up 11%), which drew its largest Q1 audience in 10 years.
In the key news demo of adults 25-54, “GMA” (2.339 million) was up 15% from last year to open up a little breathing room over “Today” (2.210 million), which was up 12%. In fact, the 129,000-viewer advantage in the demo is the largest for ABC in the morning during any quarter since the spring of 1994.
“CBS This Morning” (1.060 million) declined by 2%.
One category that “Today” continues to win is adults 18-49, winning for the 79th consecutive quarter (1.774 million to 1.618 million for ABC).